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Cicadas Heard on Nantucket!

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Cicadas Heard on Nantucket!

Cicadas Heard on Nantucket Island

Update 3/21/11: The species name formerly known as Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen has been changed to Tibicen tibicen. The article has been edited to reflect this change.

T. lyricen mating call.Today started out to be a rather great day. Around 10:30 am in the morning many T. lyricen were calling around the Maria Mitchell Museum campus. I even captured the call of one specimen way up high in a tree. While you can’t see the specimen, in this video you can clearly make out the call. Click the thumbnail to the right to watch the movie.

T. tibicen mating callShortly thereafter I heard the distinct and unmistakable call of Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen on Nantucket Island. Again, this species came as a total and complete surprise being so far north, and now east of any known established populations. This is the second documented species we have for Nantucket Island. Could there be others? In this video, which was taken at the end of Vestal Street in a Locust Tree is the call of Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen, unfortunately, I was only able to record it during the middle of it’s call, but it is definitely distinctive and unmistakable. Click the thumbnail to the left to have a listen.

Prospect Hill Cemetery

Wild rabbitGreat Black WaspPerhaps the largest cemetery on Nantucket Island. It is located right outside the town of Nantucket between Milk Street and Joy Street. It is an easy walk from Vestal street which is where the Maria Mitchell Science museum is located. Cemeteries are one of my favorite spots for hunting cicadas due to the low and minimal undergrowth and well established trees. It seemed a bit on the cool side this day but there were still some wildlife around like this rabbit that I snapped a picture of as well as a few other insects including a Great Black Wasp carcas Sphex pensylvanicus. I wonder how rabbits got on the island. Maybe during transport like the grey squirrel.

Bumble beeThere didn’t seem to be many trees at this cemetery but it was a large one and the soil was sandy which T. auletes likes. I remember hearing T. auletes calling at Oak Grove Cemetery on Martha’s Vineyard but alas, there seemed to be nothing here. No exuvia were found and no cicadas could be heard calling. I did manage to capture this photo of a bumble bee resting on a headstone however. It looks like it is covered in something, maybe some sort of mite infestation.

The State Forest

HarvestmanHarvestmanThe State Forest off Lover’s Lane proved to be another ideal habitat for cicadas, especially T. canicularis because of the huge pine tree stands but unfortunately, nothing was calling and no signs of exuvia were found. I did manage to snap a photo of a daddy longlegs or a Harvestman if you prefer.

Camp Richard for Boy Scouts

Camp Richard NantucketCamp Richard – While walking through the State Forest I stumbled upon a Boy Scout camp. It is owned by the Nantucket District Boy scouts of America. This is perhaps only one or two camps on the entire island. But this is a private camp for Boy Scouts. You cannot camp anywhere on Nantucket. Again, there were nice meadows and Scrub Pine Tree forests with some deciduous trees mixed in. But again no cicadas were heard calling. For your enjoyment here are a pair of Robber Flies mating that I snapped a photo of. These look to be an Efferia species.

I decided to try light trapping. The evening was decidedly cool but I wanted to try my luck with the traps. I used three light traps each with a different light source, Mercury Vapor, Halogen and Black Light. I set them up in the Maria Mitchell Museum Yard and to see what we could bring in. I left these on over night.

More Coming Soon!!

Date Posted: 2007-08-19 Comments: (0) Show CommentsHide Comments


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